Amitabh Bachchan, once voted the entertainer of the millennium, says he is still petrified every time he goes on stage, a tabloid newspaper reported on Monday.
“I still suffer from acute stage fright,” Bachchan, the iconic inspiration for generations of Bollywood actors, told the newspaper. “I am petrified.”
Stage shows are hugely profitable and a popular means of interaction between Bollywood and millions of Indians living abroad.
Bachchan, one of the earliest Bollywood actors to hit the concert circuit in 1973, has toured dozens of countries, including the United States, Britain and South Africa.
“In 1973, I remember at Southall in London, at one of the shows, there were just four members in the audience,” he said, adding that the stage-show business had come a long way since.
At his age, the legendary actor is not known to be short on energy levels and recently shot 23 scenes in five hours for his forthcoming films, considered a tiring schedule.
“If you continue wondering where my energy levels come from it may soon disappear,” Bachchan told the newspaper.
Bachchan has played the angry policeman, the rebel, smuggler and roles of a vigilante in a series of anti-establishment characters in the 1970s and 1980s. He now plays more mature, mellow roles, many of which are specifically written for him.
In 1999 he was voted the millennium’s biggest star in a BBC Online poll.